By Jeremiah Buabeng
What makes an employer hire one person and not the other? What gives a job seeker competitive advantage in their search for a job? This is probably a million-dollar question when it comes to escaping unemployment. Many people want to know how to get a job so they don’t become another sad statistic in the unemployment rate. Now that we have the right question, we can proceed to find an answer to it.
If you are familiar with the concept of marketing, you would know that the crux of contemporary marketing is to meet the needs of customers by offering superior value. The world of work is affected by the same forces as there are in the marketplace. As a job seeker, you are a product and your prospective employer is the customer. As a product that needs to win in the job market, you need to meet the needs of your customer, the employer.
What do employers need from the talent they want to hire? With over a decade experience in career development training and job search strategy coaching as well as half a decade experience as an employer, I have a few propositions.
The Power of Experience and Results
Employers hire people with the right experience and results. They are interested in people who have done what they are hiring for in the past. But not just that. They also need people who have a proven track record of accomplishment in their field. What have you done before? What have you accomplished? What difference have you made in your previous organization or endeavor? What successes have you achieved? These are crucial questions that every job seeker must answer.
Answering these questions will come in many forms. First, they should be on your mind as you prepare your CV and put in your job application. You must design your CV to show forth your previous accomplishments. They should also feature strongly in your responses at the interview. Your CV and interview responses must be crafted to present you in the best possible light. Doing this will tell the employer that you are someone who is used to chalking successes and you can do same for him/her.
But even more important than the above is the need to approach your career with an achievement mentality. It is not enough to just be in the number when the saints go marching in. You must be a difference maker at your job. You must achieve something significant in your present role in order to cite it as reference in your next job pursuit. You must be an employee who gets massive results for your employer. It is when you have chalked great successes that you can share them in your CV and at the interview. If you showed up at work and did as you are told without making any real difference, your chances of getting a great job opportunity in the future are minimal.
Can Students/Fresh Graduates Rise Up To This Standard?
Yes! If you are still in school, you must achieve some relevant victories that can become a reference point in your job application. If you are President of ICGC Campus Church and you grow the membership of your church from 30 to 95, that is a milestone that an employer will be interested in. It is an indicator that you have organizational and leadership ability. You know how to grow things. If you are in charge of the SRC Sponsorship Committee and you raise sponsorship of Ȼ50, 000, that’s an achievement that an employer will be interested in. It is a sign that you could be a good sales person or fundraiser.
If you are Editor in Chief for the Political Science Students Association and you published two editions of a magazine under your tenure that sold over 1000 copies, that is result you can show. You see why just getting good grades is not enough? You need to do more in school beyond just passing exams. You need to participate in activities that not only give a chance to develop your skills but also an opportunity to chalk some laurels that could open future doors.
Whatever job or position you have today, whether in the world of work or in school, you must approach it with the achievement mentality. You must say to yourself, “I must achieve something significant so I can show it as evidence for my next job.” Don’t just show up at work, close and go home. Be a difference maker. Contribute significant value. Become one of the pivots around which your company runs. Your company will benefit but you will be the ultimate beneficiary. A person who diligently commits to skill development and excellence deploys the power of favour in their lives. Proverbs 22:29 says “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”
Watch out for Part 2 of this article.
Jeremiah Buabeng is an entrepreneur, consultant, trainer, professional speaker, and author. He has trained and/or addressed organizations including Databank, Olam Ghana, Accra City Hotel (Novotel), Vaniado, Lesedi Foundation, Axis Suites, Oasis Montessori, Healthstar Group, Lekma Polyclinic, and many more. Jeremiah is a regular resource person at conferences, churches, universities, radio, and television programmes. He can be reached at email@example.com.